®

suchasBoston,NewYorkand

Philadelphia,werecentersoftheda-

guerreotypeindustry,photography

spreadquicklywest.Itwasnotlongbe-

forealmosteverytownhaditsown

photographystudio.

Acarte-de-visitephotographinthe

NationalHeritageMuseumcollection

thatdatestothe1870sor1880swas

madebyaphotographernamedFowler

inIndianapolis,IN,asrevealedbythe

labelprintedontheback.

Thephotoshowsabust-lengthpor-

traitofamanwithalongbeard.Al-

thoughhedoesnotwearanyMasonic

regaliainthephoto,thesubjecthas

signedtheback,“Fraternallyyours,

C.E.Wright,M.D.,K.T.,32º.”

Thissignatureoffersyetanotherin-

terpretationtotheuseandvalueofpho-

tographs.Theycouldfunctionascalling

cardsorbusinesscards.Bythelate

1800s,thepriceforaphotographde-

creasedandthetechnologyallowedfor

multiplecopiesofasingleexposureto

bemadecheaplyandeasily.

Carte-de-visiteimagesallowedother

typesofadvertisingorpublicizingbe-

yondsimplythephotographer’sbusi-

ness.

Aparticularlyinterestingexamplein

themuseum’scollectionshowsapor-

traitofanelderlymanwearingaMa-

soniccollar.Alongthebottomofthe

imageispublicationinformationpro-

vidingtheyearoftheimage,1872,along

withthenameofitspublishers,Carson

&Barnard.Thebackoftheimageex-

plainsthatthephotographdepicts“An

AgedMasonicVeteran”namedDavid

Stiles.Theinformationprintedonthe

backoffersthatStileswasbornin

Woodbury,ConnecticutonMay21,

1766.HewasamemberofHennepin

LodgeNo.4andSt.John’sChapterNo.

9,R.A.M.,bothinMinneapolis,MN,

whenthephotowaspublished.

ThephotoexplainsthatStiles“has

beenaMasterMasonfornearlysev-

enty-fiveyears,andisnowinhis107th

year!Hestandsandsitserect,andre-

tainshisfacultiesingoodshape!His

memoryisparticularlyfreshandvivid,

andheverydistinctlyremembersthe

signingoftheDeclarationofInde-

pendence.HehasvotedtwiceforWash-

ingtonforPresident.”

Thepublishersofthecarte-de-visite

explainonthebackthattheyhave“in-

auguratedaplanforprocuringasmall

competencyforthisdearoldveteranof

aformercentury.”

Theirplanwastousetheprofitsfrom

thesaleofthephototocreateafundfor

their“agedbrother’sbenefit.”Prices

forthephotowere25centsand50cents,

suggestingthatitwasavailableintwo

sizes.

Thepublishers,Carson&Barnard,

wereMasonicpublishersinMinneapo-

lis.Thephotographeroftheportrait

wasWilliamH.Jacoby(1841-1906)who

workedinMinneapolisfromthemid-

1860suntilthelate1880s.Unfortu-

nately,itisunknownjusthowsuccess-

fulthisappealwas.

Thesubjectofthiscarte-de-visite

passedawayshortlyafterthephotowas

taken.Hisexactdateofdeathisun-

known,butseemstobein1873.

HemarriedElizabethCummingsin

1807andtheyhadonedaughter,Lu-

cindaH.Stiles,around1820.Thefam-

ilysettledinHazelGreen,WI.

The1860U.S.CensusfoundDavid

StileslivinginHazelGreenaspartof

thehouseholdofhisson-in-law,Reuben

Hoag(b.1806)and,despitehisad-

vancedageeventhen,stilllistshimas

afarmer.

TheCensusrecordsuggeststhatthe

familywasnotwell-to-do.Reuben

Hoag,whowasheadofthehousehold,

wasacarpenterwithapersonalestate

valuedatonly$200.

Additionalresearchisneededtolearn

moreaboutStiles’sMasonicconnec-

tionstoMinneapolis,whichareprinted

onthebackofthephoto.

TheexampleoftheportraitofDavid

Stilesshowshowvaluablehistoricpho-

tographscanbeforthestudyof

Freemasonry,aswellasforpersonal

andAmericanhistory.

12

THENORTHERNLIGHT/NOVEMBER2007

In1972GrandCommander

GeorgeA.Newbury,themotivating
forcebehindtheNationalHeritage
Museum’sfounding,createdthein-
stitution“...totellathrillingstory
—thestoryofAmerica.”

Sincethen,themuseumhasbeen

collectingobjects,documents,and
booksassociatedwithAmericanand
MasonichistorywithNewbury’sgoal
inmind.

Anameinthehistoricalrecord,

suchasacensusordirectorylisting,
givesuscluesaboutthepeoplewho
havecomebeforeus.Anobject
markedwithanameclaimingau-
thorshiporownershipprovidesadif-
ferentkindofinformation.That

nameproclaims,“Imadethis”or“I
valuedthishighly.”Manysignedand
markedobjectswillbefeaturedina
newexhibition,“RememberMe:
HighlightsfromtheNationalHer-
itageMuseum,”onviewatthemu-
seumfromDecemberthroughSept.
1,2008.Theygiveusachanceto
thinkaboutwhatmadepeopletick,
whattheywereproudoforhow
theysawthemselvesintheworld.

Everyobjectinthemuseumandli-

brarycollectionsevokesthepast;
peoplewhoaregoneandeventswe
canonlyimagine.“RememberMe”
exploressomeofthestories.Several
Masonicphotographicportraitswill
beincludedintheexhibition.

“REMEMBERME”EXHIBITION

HighlightsfromtheNationalHeritageMuseum

Thesubjectofthephotosigned

theback,“Fraternallyyours,C.E.

Wright,M.D.,K.T.,32°.”